Title

Sustainable Harvesting of Solar Energy via Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

Presenter Information

Alan Landers

Department

Chemistry

Major

Chemistry

Research Advisor

Switzer, Jay A., 1950-

Advisor's Department

Chemistry

Funding Source

DOE project # DE-FG02-08ER46518

Abstract

Photoelectrochemical water splitting represents a promising method for providing clean, renewable energy. Effective cells for photoelectrochemical water oxidation pair low band gap semiconductors with efficient oxygen evolution catalysts. In this study, earth-abundant transition metal catalysts are electrochemically synthesized and compared based on their catalytic activity toward the oxygen evolution reaction. These low overpotential catalysts are paired with a metal-semiconductor (MS) junction to create a photoelectrochemical cell. The MS Schottky barrier, created by electrodeposition of gold on the surface of silicon, protects the silicon from being corroded by the basic electrolyte without significantly attenuating the light reaching the semiconductor. Combining the transition metal oxide catalyst with the MS junction created an electrochemical cell in series with a photovoltaic cell which allows independent analysis and optimization of each layer. This creates a stable, efficient n-Si/Au/catalyst cell for photoelectrochemical water splitting.

Biography

Alan is a senior studying chemistry from Gainesville, Missouri. Alan has been an undergraduate research assistant in the Materials Research Center since 2013. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree, Alan plans to attend graduate school to continue his studies in chemistry.

Research Category

Sciences

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Document Type

Poster

Award

Sciences poster session, Second place

Location

Upper Atrium/Hall

Presentation Date

15 Apr 2015, 9:00 am - 11:45 am

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Apr 15th, 9:00 AM Apr 15th, 11:45 AM

Sustainable Harvesting of Solar Energy via Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

Upper Atrium/Hall

Photoelectrochemical water splitting represents a promising method for providing clean, renewable energy. Effective cells for photoelectrochemical water oxidation pair low band gap semiconductors with efficient oxygen evolution catalysts. In this study, earth-abundant transition metal catalysts are electrochemically synthesized and compared based on their catalytic activity toward the oxygen evolution reaction. These low overpotential catalysts are paired with a metal-semiconductor (MS) junction to create a photoelectrochemical cell. The MS Schottky barrier, created by electrodeposition of gold on the surface of silicon, protects the silicon from being corroded by the basic electrolyte without significantly attenuating the light reaching the semiconductor. Combining the transition metal oxide catalyst with the MS junction created an electrochemical cell in series with a photovoltaic cell which allows independent analysis and optimization of each layer. This creates a stable, efficient n-Si/Au/catalyst cell for photoelectrochemical water splitting.